City-based tennis player Namita Bal and her doubles partner Prarthna Thombare are so much alike that they have,on many occasions,ended up wearing the exact same clothes on days they spend away from the tennis courts while hanging out as friends. According to coach Nandan Bal,it is this off-court relationship that has translated to successful tournament victories,the latest of them being an under 16 Nationals triumph in Jassowal on Friday.
The finals,which ended late Friday evening,saw the deadly duo breeze past K Bhuvana of Andhra Pradesh and Etee Mehta of Gujarat in straight sets 6-2,6-2. According to coach Nandan Bal,the two share a good rapport off the court and this is very important for a successful doubles partnership. Namita and Prarthna are on the same wavelength and understand each other well. They know each others game inside out and this results in smooth movement on the court,he said. The pair have tasted success right from the time they participated in their first tournament together last month in Chennai.
They beat the pairing of Amrita Mukherjee and Sai Samitha in straight sets to lift the ITF crown. They followed this up with another good performance a week later in Hyderabad when they reached the finals of the tournament only to falter against the top seeds of the tournament from Thailand. Prior to this run of victories,the two had a month long training stint in Spain,which paid dividends.
Namita and Prarthna will be looking to take the confidence of this success to the upcoming ITF under 18 tournaments. We have definitely found a winning combination in these two. We will look forward to giving them the experience of playing in the under 18s and ladies categories in the next year,said Bal.